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Dr. Bill McCarthy

Dean and Undergraduate Program Chair


Ph.D. (1990) Sociology, University of Toronto

Office Location

CLJ, 566

Office Hours

Wednesdays 3:00 to 4:00, or by appointment

Areas of Specialization

Race and Crime
Sex Work


Bill McCarthy joined Rutgers University-Newark in 2020. His early research focused on adolescent offending and relationships with parents, fictive family, peers, and romantic partners. In these studies, he and his co-authors developed ideas about criminal capital, co-offending, success, social bonds, and danger. Some of his more recent research examines overt discrimination and juvenile crime, while other projects use a labor perspective to examine sex work. His current work focuses on racial segregation, crime, policing, and criminal injustice in Chicago. His research has involved the collection of original survey and interview data from homeless adolescents and adults working in the sex industry, as well as analyses of secondary survey data and official data. His awards include the 2020 Ameican Society of Criminology Mentor Award and the 2020 University of California Davis Graduate and Postdoctoral Mentorship Award; the 2010 American Society of Criminology (ASC) Outstanding Paper Award (for McCarthy, B. & Casey, T. (2008). Love, sex and crime: Adolescent romantic relationships and offending. American Sociological Review, 73, 944-969); and the 1998 ASC American Michael J. Hindelang Outstanding Book on Crime and the 1997 Society for the Study of Social Problems. C. Wright Mills Outstanding Book on Social Problems Award (for Hagan, J. & McCarthy, B. (1997). Mean streets: Youth crime and homelessness. New York: Cambridge University Press).


Recent & Key Publications

McCarthy, B., Jansson, M., & Benoit, C. (2021). Job attributes and mental health: A comparative study of sex work and hairstyling. Social Science 10, 35. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020035

Hagan, J., McCarthy, B., & Herda, D. (2020). What the study of legal cynicism and crime can tell us about reliability, validity, and versatility in law and social science research. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 16.

McCarthy, B., Hagan, J., & Herda, D. (2020). Neighborhood climates of legal cynicism and complaints about abuse of police power. Criminology

Hagan, J., McCarthy, B., Herda, D., & Chandrasekher, A.C. (2018). Dual process theory of racial isolation, legal cynicism, and reported crime. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 7190-7199.

Herda, D., & McCarthy, B. (2018). No experience required: Violent crime and anticipated, vicarious, and experienced racial discrimination. Social Science Research, 70, 115-130.

Gartner, R., & McCarthy, B. (editors). (2014) The Oxford handbook on gender, sex, and crime: An interdisciplinary review of research and theory. New York: Oxford University Press.